Most puppy fans can tell you the numerous techniques in which their devoted canines adjusted their life. But for Jon Provost, who starred as a boy on the beloved Tv sequence “Lassie,” the effects has lasted a lifetime.
Provost — whose boyish dimples still magically look when he smiles — will change 70 following thirty day period. Even so, his enthusiasts still don’t forget him fondly as Timmy, the healthful farm boy whose pet collie appeared almost telepathic.
A Sonoma County resident since 1970, Provost continues to journey to make private appearances and has been a typical at Bay Area pop tradition conventions for decades. On Monday he’ll offer you area followers a closer glance at his job for the duration of “An Evening with Jon Provost” at the Sebastiani Theatre in Sonoma.
“It’s the very first time we have completed this, and I’m gonna see exactly where it goes,” Provost stated of his new are living onstage application, which will includes a typical “Lassie” episode and clips from his other display work, an onstage interview with movie critic Jan Wahl of San Francisco’s KRON Tv and KCBS Radio and a query-and-remedy session with the audience.
Provost’s operate on “Lassie” lasted from 1957 to 1974. It was just a single of several versions of the famed dog’s adventures, but it’s maybe still the most effective liked. He was a single of three youngsters who portrayed Lassie’s companion for the duration of the typical Tv show’s 19 decades on the air.
“I did 249 50 %-hour episodes,” he recalled. “I was on the exhibit from age 7 to 14, but my job went beyond ‘Lassie.’ ”
Provost’s job began even just before “Lassie.” At age 2, he appeared in “So Big” from 1953 with Jane Wyman. The next 12 months, he appeared in “The Region Girl” with Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby and William Holden. In 1969, he and Kurt Russell, then both of those young people, appeared in “The Computer system Wore Tennis Shoes.”
But it’s “Lassie” that everybody remembers most effective. Provost balks at choosing a favorite episode, but the story line he treasures most was a three-parter titled “The Odyssey,” in which Timmy and Lassie had been divided. “Timmy believed Lassie was absent and he’d by no means see her once more,” Provost stated.
But don’t hope him to have overall recall of the moment particulars from any individual episode. That is a little something zealous enthusiasts often ask for.
“It all blends collectively,” he stated. “On any day, we had been operating from two or three various scripts.”
One particular detail he appreciates for positive, while. No a single on the exhibit at any time stated, “Timmy’s in the nicely!” A extensive-jogging joke about “Lassie” has the puppy coming property without the boy and barking excitedly, prompting a single of the older people current to say, “What’s that, lady? Timmy’s in the nicely?”
Provost even requested June Lockhart, who played his mother on the exhibit, and she confirmed that no a single at any time stated that line.
“I don’t know exactly where that came from,” Provost stated. “It might have been a remark someone designed on the established.”
That is not to say the gist of the joke is inaccurate, he included.
“Timmy was not the smartest kid you at any time observed,” Provost joked. “On the exhibit, I fell off cliffs, into an deserted mineshaft and into quicksand, but I by no means did tumble in a nicely.”
Continue to, Provost preferred the “Timmy’s in the well” line adequate to use it as the title of his autobiography, co-authored with his spouse, Laurie Jacobsen, and released in 2007. He’s also planning a cookbook titled “Timmy’s in the Kitchen area.”
“In our life, we all tumble in the nicely in some way,” he reasoned.
It appears to be Provost has avoided that pitfall. In some way, even though numerous a baby star has absent astray, he stayed on solid ground, operating in serious estate for two a long time in Sonoma County and serving for twenty five decades on the board of Canine Companions.
Soon after his exhibit at the Sebastiani Theatre, Provost options to autograph his book and DVDS. “Lassie” has influenced goods from toys and game titles to comic guides, and enthusiasts often provide their treasures to exhibit them to Provost.
“After a lot more than fifty decades, ‘Lassie’ is still on a dozen various cable networks internationally,” he stated.
The former baby star attributes the remaining energy of old “Lassie” sequence to its healthful high-quality.
“People are normally inquiring about ‘Lassie.’ It demonstrates how Tv sequence again then had morals and values,” he stated. “No a single has at any time occur up to me and stated, “I hated Lassie.’ ”
You can reach Team Writer Dan Taylor at 707-521-5243 or [email protected]. On Twitter @danarts.